Mixed results for the Gunnedah and District Bulldogs at the weekend saw the Poochettes women grind out a 34-29 win against the Tamworth Swans women, while the men’s Bulldogs couldn’t repeat their winning efforts from the previous week, valiantly defeated 128-49 against the Swans men.

The Poochettes women were made to play out a brutal five-point victory.

The Poochettes trailed at every quarter interval but weathered the storm of the Swans to seal their victory through a last quarter blitz.

In the face of a committed Swans outfit, the Poochettes were brutally battered around the football at ground level but their backline held sway after several attacking entries from the Swans, although leaking a goal for the quarter and down 8-1 at the first interval.

The Poochettes were unable to match the Swans’ intensity at the ball in the second quarter and in return, lacked the ability to penetrate the attacking half of the ground.

They did however hit the scoreboard themselves, with captain Khobi Devine and midfielder Rani Grant nailing set shot majors to keep the scoreboard in check 22-13 by half time.

As the ball was hotly contested in the centre of the ground, both sides struggled to break down the defences but the Swans managed to kick the only major of the third term to see the Poochettes into the final charge, down by 14 points at 29-15.

Last quarters have been a highlight of the Poochettes all season, where they again found their run and carry off their elusive half backline, linking with the midfield to continually pump the footy into their forward line.

Laura Ewington was the architect of the half back line, where she continually turned the footy over for the Poochettes with the drive needed to penetrate the Swans defence.

Grant was the link from the backline to the forwards as she and Ewington stamped  their authority on the match early in the last quarter.

In the space of five minutes, the Poochettes emphatically piled on three majors, one each from Devine and Grant drifting forward from the midfield while competition-leading goal scorer Apryl Bailey snapped truly, wrestling the lead for the first time in the match for the Poochettes with 10 minutes to play.

With intensity that rivalled a finals fixture, the Poochettes came from the clouds and stormed home in the last quarter, completing victory in a brutal contest to secure a five-point victory 34-29.

Midfielder Grant was best on the ground for the Poochettes and in conjunction with Ewington, were the key drivers for the Poochettes in a win that all but secures the minor premiership for season 2023.

The Bulldogs men were well and truly in their contest after the first quarter, albeit down by a meagre five points after the first quarter at 20-15.

The Bulldogs, however,  turned the footy over going inside their attacking 50 and on rebound the Swans were able to link by hand and foot with ease, piling on six goals to the Bulldogs two for the second quarter, breaking the game open as the Bulldogs were down by 28 points at half-time with the score 57-29.

Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, the half time interval didn’t regenerate any momentum into the contest for the third quarter, as the Swans piled on a further seven goals while keeping the Bulldogs scoreless to open up a 10-goal buffer and a 91-31 scoreline.

The Bulldogs rallied in the last quarter, finishing the game strongly with three majors – the last of the match. Ultimately, the Bulldogs were outclassed by the finals bound Swans to the tune of 79 points at 128-49 by full time.

Captain and midfielder Adam Curgenven worked himself to a standstill for the Bulldogs in a trying effort and Beau Herbert was also a standout in his second outing as a ruckman.

Jeremiah Howgate booted three and midfielder Luke Johanson two majors as the Bulldogs’ scorers. 

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